This article analyses the role of age stereotypes in the employability of older people. Unlike in existing studies, we shift emphasis from a direct consideration of stereotypes, focusing instead on skill requirements during recruitment. Using five waves of an employer survey from Poland, we assess how the likelihood of recruiting people over 50 years old depends on the skill requirements of the post. This study uses a real-life framework by referring to existing vacancies and actual requirements that reflect labour demands at the scale of an entire national labour market. The results suggest that some requirements lead to age bias during recruitment, and the chances of an older candidate being hired are especially hindered in jobs requiring computer, physical, social, creative and training skills. By illustrating an indirect link between age stereotypes and age discrimination, this study contributes to an understanding of the mechanisms that reduce employability of older people.